The other day I told the story of how I screwed up with Zach and realized I how much I needed to apologize. That story got to me wondering what the kids were going remember about their childhoods. Are they going to remember the screw ups more or will they take a little pity on us, realizing they are all guinea pigs in our parental experiment. We were not blessed with a user manual specific to each kid. So what works for one may, or may not, work for the others...their whole childhood is one massive experiment with their lives. So what will they remember most? The good times or the screw ups??
When we were at the beach a couple of weeks ago Claire said to me "You are a great mom. I'd be lying if I said you weren't." My heart sang and I did a mental happy dance, complete with cartwheels and back flips. Nothing makes me feel better than my kiddos telling me I'm ok in their books. But her compliment came from the mind, and out the lips, of an 11 year old. How's she going to feel in five years when she's 16 and we won't let her stay out much past 10:00 or 10:30? Will she remember what she told me? Or will she take her cues from Zach who is little mad at us for not letting him stay out past 11?
What will they remember? The good times or the bad? Or will it be a good balance of both?
I truly hope they have a good balance of both. I don't want them going into adulthood with a Pollyanna-ish view of their childhoods. I want them to have a grounded sense of who they are and how they were shaped. You can only get that if you remember the good and the bad.
I guess I'll have to keep doing what I do ~ apologizing when I need to but also striving hard to be the best mom I can so they remember the good times and the bad times of their childhoods. And I hope they always remember how much they are loved but I am only human and I screw up every now and again.
Oh, for the love of my children...